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German VOC regulation >> German AgBB / DIBt >> DIBt approval - barrier to trade?

DIBt approval - barrier to trade?

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German DIBt agency lost at European Court where the European Commission claimed that Germany raised "barriers to trade" with its current rules and practices (Bauregellisten) concerning a specific German approval of construction products. This was said to "breach of EU Single Market rules".

This special decision referred to combustion properties, where DIBt requested national approval because DIBt deemed it necessary that additional testing parameters are declared, on top of CE marking.

The court confirmed that it is not allowed to establish a national approval system for properties of products that are dealt with in CE marking and the related harmonized EN standard.

Please see more details here:

Will this decision affect the DIBt approval system and Ü mark, regarding VOC emissions?

The court statement clearly said that Germany must not establish a national approval system on top of CE marking.

As soon as a product is CE marked, no Ü mark must be required in the future - even before the declaration of performance for CE marking has to include a statement on emissions of hazardous substances into indoor air, and before the related CE standard (e.g. EN 14041, EN 14342 etc.) includes a statement on the emissions and specifies how to declare that performance.

According to a recent communication by DIBt (on 06 January 2016):

  • new regulation "AGB" will be in force after 15 October 2016.
  • Products that still can be DIBt approved must show compliance by showing that approval and carrying the Ü mark.
  • Products that no longer can be DIBt approved can show compliance by other means, where details are not yet specified.
    • The Ü mark MUST NOT BE affixed to products and packaging carrying a CE mark after 15 October 2016 any longer.
    • DIBt recommends to show a valid abZ approval as proof of compliance that is under annual surveillance until its maximum validity. Maximum possible validity of an abZ is April 2020.
      • Many manufacturers are using this possibility. They plan to use their valid abZ as marketing argument against competing products without an abZ.
      • New products do not have this possibility any longer.
      • This unequal treatment of old and new products will give severe problems, but nevertheless these are the present plans of the German authorities.
    • Other programs will be accepted as well.
    • The Eurofins operated Indoor Air Comfort certification program is a good choice for that purpose.

Please follow our VOC Blog to stay updated on this issue.

Eurofins VOC related services

Eurofins offers documentation of compliance with the specifications on emissions of VOC and aldehydes by independent and ISO 17025 accredited testing, and if relevant also with external surveillance (inspections, re-testing), and certification, e.g. in combination with the Eurofins operated certification programme Indoor Air Comfort - certified products.

Eurofins operates both an accredited and notified test house and an approved ÜZ certification body. VOC emissions testing for any program or regulation can be easily combined with tests for other regulations or labels such as Belgian VOC regulationFrench VOC regulationsGerman VOC regulationsEMICODE, German Blue Angel, Finnish M1 and US tests. Such combinations allow to save money compared with separate testing for each of these purposes. One example is the Eurofins Pan-European test package.

Certification and testing services for Ü markCE mark and the Eurofins certification program Indoor Air Comfort - certified products can be ordered in parallel for use on different market segments - there will be significant costs saving when compared to ordering these services separately.

Contact to surveillance and testing services

  • Surveillance and Certification body:
    (also DIBt approved surveillance and certification body)

Eurofins Consumer Product Testing GmbH
Am Neuländer Gewerbepark 4
21079 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 40 492 94 6815

  • Testing lab:
    (also DIBt approved testing body, and accredited as well as notified testing lab)
Eurofins Product Testing A/S
Smedeskovvej 38, 8464 Galten, Denmark
Phone: +45 7022 4276

Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories

Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, China and Japan: